LAURA RUBY earned her Permaculture Design Certificate in 2002 from Crystal Waters EcoVillage in Australia.  Since then, she has been implementing permaculture systems on her own urban property in downtown Boulder, CO, and for her clients in the area.  Laura worked as the Garden Coordinator for a local non-profit, the Growe Foundation, for 3.5 years.  Through this organization, she helped establish gardens at 14 Boulder Valley School District Elementary schools, working to install gardens, teach various garden related subjects and offer support for the school communities.  To compliment her work in schools, Laura also started YummyYards, an edible landscape design and consulting company. She is both a Certified Permaculture Teacher, a Colorado Master Gardener, and holds an MBA in Sustainable Business Development from Green Mountain College.

SPENCER BRANSON is a Colorado native who has been growing food since he learned how to walk. He currently works as a landscape designer for Urban Oasis and is permaculture consultant in Fort Collins, Colorado. Spencer received his permaculture design certification from the Lyons Farmette and has been implementing designs ever since. He felt so connected and drawn to the Farmette that he went on to work there and eventually manage the crop production.  He also designed and implemented two different types of aquaponics systems in the hoop house.  As a renter, Spencer has excelled working with onsite resources in creative ways to develop urban homesteading systems involving aquaponics, laying hens, rabbits and vermicomposting.  Spencer is finishing his Landscape Design degree at Colorado State University.

ErinScheyERIN SCHEY is a permaculture designer and sustainability educator. Born and raised in Upstate New York, she holds a B.A. in Japanese Studies and Religion from Wellesley College. In 2003, Erin relocated to Boulder, Colorado, where she discovered permaculture and started growing and designing edible landscapes. Her certifications include a Permaculture Design Course at the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, an Advanced Permaculture Design Course at the Regenerative Design Institute, an Edible Forest Gardens Design Course at Woodbine Ecology Center and a Permaculture Teacher’s Certification Course from High Altitude Permaculture. Erin co-founded the Lyons Permaculture Design Course in 2009 while working as a residential landscape designer for Urban Oasis, a sustainable landscape design firm in Denver, CO. When she’s not teaching, reading or growing food, Erin enjoys playing accordion with her husband in their gypsy jazz band, RUE.


Guest Instructors

Marco Chung-Shu Lam has been practicing and teaching permaculture and sustainable living skills for over twenty years in diverse climates from the Andes to the Hawaiian Islands. Originally trained by the founder of Permaculture, Bill Mollison, his teaching style moves away from the lecture format and emphasizes getting people’s hands in the Earth. Marco is passionate about beekeeping, grafting, pruning, and orcharding as well as creating a sustainable and regenerative economy with a local currency.


Pavlos Stavropoulos is the Sustainability Coordinator at The Woodbine Ecology Center in Sedalia, CO. Born and raised in Greece, Pavlos grew up bilingual and bicultural. Before moving to Colorado Pavlos served on the board of the Oregon Public Interest Research Group, and was the publications coordinator and also served at the board at the Institute for Social Ecology in Vermont. Since moving to Colorado he has served as the publications coordinator for the Fourth World Center, been the publisher and associate editor of Democracy and Nature, the international journal for inclusive democracy, and taught at Escuela Tlatelolco. His years of experience in environmental and wilderness education include being a Wilderness First Responder, a certified permaculture designer and instructor, undergraduate work in environmental studies/social ecology, and graduate work in indigenous studies and wilderness ethics. Pavlos is a certified small water systems operator and the father of three children.

Wesley Swartz is founder of the Abalon Guild whose mission is to invigorate our fruit growing capacity throughout Boulder County and revitalize the culture of fruit tree growing.  Wesley is a full-time permaculture orchardist in Boulder, CO.

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